Fourteen. That is the average age of our Main Campers. This average age has increased from the “old days” (when we had a much smaller senior group).
These girls have been coming to camp for an average of six years; they feel like they have spent a lifetime of summers at camp. They love camp, love each other, and cherish the memories made here. Needless to say, we are deeply grateful for these girls and celebrate their passion every day. Today, these girls are the theme of our EP.
This is going to be a beautiful “girly” night. White dresses, yellow roses, and a lot of pageantry establish a sense of significance. Campers see the commitment of these girls as worthy of note. We play Handel’s Water Music as their names and years are called out. They accept a Five Year Certificate and then take their seats in a place of honor. The Seniors are presented in a more comprehensive way (Name, nickname, hometown, and a short list of things that comprise their legacy at Greystone). Once all have been seated, these oldest campers approach the microphone one by one and give a short description of why they choose to return to camp each year. Their speeches often include mention of their best camp friends, and influential counselors. The speeches are well written and artfully presented, often ending with a funny or poignant story that ties the theme together. Tears and laughter mark the evening, which always goes late.
I bet all of these girls expected that one day they would stand before their peers to do this impossible task: describing something that defies description. Some have been working on this speech for (quite literally) years. We can’t wait to hear what they have to say.
We will enjoy the ceremony comfortably dry in the FORT as it is likely to be raining. We have entered into a pattern of evening showers that is very familiar to Greystone girls. The clouds keep temperatures down all day (highs in the low 80s) and gradually change demeanor as the day progresses. The threat of rain impacts our preparations for the evening program and the girls are constantly wondering what we will do if the rain comes. Most of the time, it holds off like it did last night when half of the camp was playing in the water. A giant thundercloud began to form in the Western sky and the wind picked up gradually as the night progressed. At 8:30, our lightning warning went off and everyone ran back to their cabins for a long shower time. Devotions were enjoyed under the ROAR of heavy rain on a tin roof. Glorious!
After an afternoon or evening rain, the surrounding mountains are wreathed in a layer of mist that hangs to the trees in an ever-changing pattern. This effect is really beautiful in the late hours of the day and makes for a dramatic setting. From the FORT we see Thunderhead mountain clearly… we also see the pageant court, lake, swings, flag pole, white chairs, trees, shepherd’s gazebo, and tennis courts… a familiar setting that has become precious to these girls over the years. A Neverland setting where childhood memories multiply daily in a place that doesn’t change.
Tonight is a celebration of these girls. It will be wonderful.